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Do’s and Don’ts for Disciplinary Hearings

Do’s and Don’ts for Disciplinary Hearings

You are a professional and you have been informed there are allegations of misconduct against you. Your career, years of hard work is now put at risk. What do you do? Breath and read the following:

1. Always ask for details regarding the allegations.

Before you take any further steps, it is crucial to gather as much information as you can regarding the allegations against you. This will help you understand the situation and better prepare you to respond to any questions at a disciplinary hearing.

Also ask for the reasons behind why the alleged action is a misconduct. Assess the information for its own accuracy and then write down your version of events to help you see an overview of what happened, where a misunderstanding could of arise and this will act as notes you can bring with you to any meeting or hearing.

2. Familiarize yourself with the procedure regarding disciplinary hearings.

You need to understand what the next steps are and what you need to do. You may have an obligation to respond and therefore there is always a process as to how to do it and what to do. During this step, you may find out that you have the option of seeking independent legal advice or even be allowed to have legal representation.

If this is the case, it would be prudent of you to seek legal advice and if necessary, consider retaining a lawyer to help you prepare and represent you for the hearing. This will ensure that you have the best chance at succeeding.

3. Do not ignore the disciplinary hearing and not attend.

This is fatal to your hearing. It may suggest a number of things about you such as, you don’t care, you have no respect for the body issuing the hearing and you may be further disciplined for missing the hearing.

If you are going to miss a hearing, it should be because you were forced not to attend due to illness or an emergency and therefore the hearing may be rescheduled.

When you attend, always take notes yourself. Do not rely on others to provide you with an accurate and honest account of the events.

4. You disagree with the final outcome of the hearing? Appeal.

If you do not believe that the outcome is fair and just, appeal the decision. Make this appeal in writing and ensure you address all points that you disagree with. List out any evidence or witness that could help your appeal.

Final thoughts:

It would be prudent to also consult independent legal advice at all stages mentioned above. Even if you choose not to seek legal representation at the hearing, a lawyer can aid you in understanding the allegations, procedures and advise you as to how best to approach your hearing and the appeal.

Lastly, all that is mentioned above can be applied to those who are members of the following Tribunals:

  • Ontario College of Pharmacists Discipline Committee;
  • College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario;
  • College of Massage Therapists of Ontario;
  • College of Nurses of Ontario Discipline Committee;
  • College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario;
  • College of Optometrists of Ontario;
  • College of Physiotherapists of Ontario; and,
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Disclaimer: The foregoing is for informational purposes only, and should in no way be relied upon as legal advice. For legal advice tailored to your circumstances, please contact PINTO LAW by email or telephone.

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